“We’re a very good team when we’re on it. It’s just a matter of putting together the right performances”
Clitheroe have endured a tough start to their 2017/18 Evo-Stik North campaign, with the Blues currently sitting in 15th place having managed just 5 wins from their opening 15 league fixtures.
Having narrowly missed out on a place in the league play-offs last season with an impressive 7th place finish, the club certainly has high standards to live up to. However, with only 3 wins from their last 11 games, the Lancashire side are finding both good form and consistency difficult to come by this season.
One bright spark for the Shawbridge side however has been top scorer, Kurt Willoughby, who has notched 11 league goals so far this term, and despite the club’s disappointing start to the season he remains positive about Clitheroe’s prospects of achieving a high finish.
“I would say the play-offs is still realistic. Obviously we haven’t had the best of starts, but there have been games where we have shown that we can be up there. We’re a very good team when we’re on it. It’s just a matter of putting together the right performances”.
Speaking ahead of last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Ossett Town, the great confidence and belief the club’s leading goal scorer has in the team was once again displayed.
“We are very confident. We’ve had good training sessions leading up to the game and we’re at home, so yeah we’re very confident. We need and deserve a win. We’ve lost a couple recently so now we need to bounce back and get 3 points”.
Unfortunately the Blues were denied all 3 points by a stoppage time equaliser from Ossett Town and with two tough league games against Tadcaster Albion and Hyde United respectively coming up, Clitheroe are certainly facing a difficult task to rectify their recent form. However, key man Willoughby’s comments speak volumes of his confidence in his team’s ability to pick up more points and strive to achieve a place in the league play-offs.
On a personal note, Willoughby, who joined the club from AFC Blackpool, has been in tremendous form of late, and when asked about his recent performances, he acknowledged the importance that he could well have to his team’s pursuit of the play-offs.
“Goals win games. So as long as I can keep scoring and continue to play well and we are solid at the back, then we will start to pick up more points”.
Willoughby’s goals and performances have certainly proved vital for Clitheroe this season, and manager Simon Haworth recently spoke to the Clitheroe Advertiser of his expectation that the dangerous striker will eventually go on to ply his trade at a much higher level.
When asked about his personal goals and ambitions in football, Willoughby’s ambition and confidence was once again clear to see.
“My long term personal ambition is to obviously be a professional footballer and to get back into playing full time. I just have to make sure I continue to perform well and to keep scoring and hopefully someone is watching”.
This Saturday sees the Blues travel to North Yorkshire for an away clash with Tadcaster Albion, who are currently level on points with Clitheroe, so we are likely to see quite an evenly matched contest. However, in his current rich vein of form, Willoughby could well prove to be the decisive difference.
Updated 17:47 - 18 Nov 2017 by Michael Barker